Press Release

Press Release  Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches New Statewide Initiatives to Combat and Prevent Hate Crimes

Newly Created Massachusetts State Police Unit to Strengthen Statewide Hate Crime Response, Support Victims, and Enhance Community Resiliency
For immediate release:
  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll
  • Executive Office of Public Safety and Security
  • Executive Office of Education

Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches New Statewide Initiatives to Combat and Prevent Hate Crimes

Karissa Hand, Press Secretary

Boston — The Healey-Driscoll Administration today announced the launch of a new statewide initiative to confront and deter hate crimes, support victims, and foster community resiliency across Massachusetts. As part of the administration’s steadfast commitment to promoting inclusivity and safeguarding diverse communities, the Massachusetts State Police (MSP) has formed the Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team (HART), a new unit dedicated to enhancing federal, state and local partnerships and liaising with community leaders to strengthen statewide response to hate crimes and hate-based incidents. The administration is also delivering $461,920 in Hate Crime Prevention grants designed to support or expand programs that help educators, staff, administrators, and students reduce incidents of bias in schools. 

As part of the new unit’s mandate, the HART team will enhance statewide data collection and information-sharing to identify statewide, national, and global patterns and trends; increase stakeholder collaboration and educational outreach; develop advanced training in coordination with the Municipal Police Training Committee to equip law enforcement with best practices for hate crime response; and streamline coordination between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies. HART is comprised of 4-5 sworn members of the MSP, each serving as the primary point of contact for local law enforcement, community, and religious groups in a specific geographic area.  

“With hate crimes on the rise across the country and here in Massachusetts, it is essential that we bring people together to advance proactive solutions and support our communities. We are proud to launch the Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team, which will play an essential role in addressing and preventing hate crimes, supporting survivors, and strengthening our communities. We are also dedicating $460,000 to school districts that far too often are on the frontlines of confronting bias-motivated incidents and can be instrumental in preventing hate and creating safe environments for students and their families,” said Governor Maura Healey. “Here in Massachusetts, we stand firmly against hate – and we are backing up that commitment with resources and investments.” 

“Our administration remains deeply committed to ensuring that communities and organizations have the tools and resources needed to create safe, inclusive, and protected environments,” said Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll. “This new statewide initiative is another step toward strengthening Massachusetts’ ability to uphold our values and celebrate our diversity. We will continue to confront intolerance with the determination that this moment demands.”  

“Governor Healey, Lieutenant Governor Driscoll, and I know that no singular person, office, or organization should have to address incidents of hate alone. I want to thank the Healey-Driscoll Administration for building a strong coalition and implementing a holistic, statewide strategy to tackling these critical issues,” said Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell. “My office and I will continue to support these efforts, while using our own enforcement tools to allow everyone in Massachusetts the right to live free from hate and discrimination.” 

The Executive Office of Public Safety and Security (EOPSS) recently published the 2022 Hate Crime Report for Massachusetts, which recorded 440 reports of hate crime incidents statewide, up from 406 in 2021 and the highest reported since 2002. In 2022, like years past, prejudice against race and ethnicity or national origin was the most widely reported bias motivation, representing 53.2 percent of the total, down from 59.3 percent in 2021. Bias against religious groups surpassed bias against sexual orientation with 21.1 percent, up from 18.2 percent in 2021.  

“No organization or community can stand alone when it comes to public safety. In Massachusetts, our partnerships are strong, and the level of coordination is unprecedented. The MSP’s new HART Unit will build upon those connections and strengthen our shared resolve to ensure that hate has no place in our communities,” said Public Safety and Security Secretary Terrence Reidy. “Together, we will stand united against the rise in bias-motivated threats, harassment, and violence to create a safer and more inclusive Massachusetts for all its residents.” 

“Recent events at home and abroad provide a tragic and urgent reminder that no community is immune from the unpredictable and devasting impact of a bias-motivated event,” said Massachusetts State Police Interim Colonel John Mawn, Jr. “As our nation continues to grapple with a concerning increase in unlawful acts of hate, the State Police will meet this moment with a robust strategy and sustained commitment to confronting bias and intolerance by strengthening law enforcement partnerships, enhancing community engagement, and delivering advanced training and education to stakeholders.”  

As part of the administration’s deep commitment to fostering safe and inclusive learning environments for all students and educators, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education awarded Hate Crime Prevention grants to ten school districts across the state. Funding will support educator professional development, community engagement and other costs associated with tackling the reduction of acts of bias and hate crimes in Massachusetts. The investment will promote school partnerships and collaboration with local law enforcement and local community organizations, including local human rights organizations that have ongoing local relationships and expertise in promoting equity, building positive school climates, preventing hate crimes and addressing bias-motivated incidents. A second round of funding is now available and districts are encouraged to apply.  

“These Hate Crime Prevention grants will allow our schools to tackle the difficult concepts of bias and hate crimes to create safe and nurturing school environments that allow every student to feel supported,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Patrick Tutwiler. “It’s an honor to partner with EOPPS and Secretary Reidy in efforts to reduce hate crimes across the communities of Massachusetts.” 

Today’s announcement builds upon the many initiatives put forward to ensure Massachusetts can embrace its diversity and live up to its principles. As many diverse communities across the country are experiencing an increase in hate crimes, Massachusetts continues to advance the following initiatives:  

  • To date, the Healey-Driscoll Administration has awarded over $7 million in state and federal grants to help Massachusetts nonprofits, including faith-based organizations, improve physical security and protect against attacks. The Office of Grants and Research distributes millions annually through the Commonwealth and Federal nonprofit security grant programs. Faith-based and other recipients use these funds for infrastructure improvements or security personnel to support their preparedness plans.   

  • Next month, the Massachusetts State Police Fusion Center will host its 5th Annual Faith-Based Organization Safety and Security Seminar. The seminar convenes over 300 stakeholders to discuss security issues critical to faith-based organizations, including grant opportunities to fund safety initiatives, threat reporting, and an overview of hate groups. 

  • The legislative Task Force on Hate Crimes, co-chaired by Secretary Reidy and President of Kraft Family Philanthropies Josh Kraft, continues advising the administration on issues relating to the prevalence, deterrence, and prevention of hate crimes.  

  • As part of the administration’s commitment to emergency preparedness and community resiliency, EOPSS adopted a statewide standard for a proactive, integrated active shooter and hostile event response. Massachusetts is the first state in the country to establish a standardized response. Massachusetts is the first state in the country to establish a standardized response.  

The Hate Crime Prevention grant recipients are:  

Applicant Name 

Grant Amount 


 $              50,000.00  


 $              23,250.00  


 $              50,000.00  


 $              48,670.00  


 $              40,000.00  


 $              50,000.00  


 $              50,000.00  

North Reading  

 $              50,000.00  


 $              50,000.00  


 $              50,000.00 


Statements of Support: 

Chief Thomas W. Fowler, Salisbury; 2023 President, Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association: 

“The establishment of a Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team is a commendable initiative, particularly in the context of the rising incidents of hate crimes. Such a specialized unit can play a crucial role in addressing and mitigating the impact of these offenses. I foresee many benefits of such a team to local law enforcement, including enhanced investigations, data and training resources, better community engagement, and an increase in cultural competencies. By working with local police departments, HART has the potential not only to respond more effectively to hate crimes but also to contribute to the prevention of such incidents. Combining specialized expertise, community engagement, and continuous training can create a more comprehensive and proactive approach to combating hate crimes locally. Governor Healey is demonstrating a commitment to addressing the challenges posed by hate crimes and promoting a more tolerant and secure Commonwealth.” 

Chief Jack D. Buckley, Medford Police Department: 

"With hate crime incidents on the rise across the state and country, it is imperative that local, state and federal law enforcement and community partners work together to keep our communities safe. The Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team will play a crucial role in supporting local departments like my own with preventing and addressing hate crimes." 

Josh Kraft, President, New England Patriots Foundation; Co-Chair, Task Force on Hate Crimes: 

“In this time marked by a dramatic rise in hate, today’s announcement underscores the Healey-Driscoll Administration’s commitment to protecting and empowering those vulnerable to bias-driven crimes. HART’s mission will enhance community relationships, deliver advanced training, and strengthen the State’s ability to confront and deter hate. My hope remains that these efforts – together with those of the Task Force on Hate Crimes and private initiatives like the Foundation to Combat Antisemitism – will advance our shared values of diversity and inclusion.” 

Robert Trestan, Vice President, Anti-Defamation League: 

“Governor Healey and Massachusetts continue to lead the nation in prioritizing hate crime prevention and response by leveraging resources and expertise across the Commonwealth. HART unites stakeholders, streamlines data collection, and ensures communities have access to the tools they need to educate, train and respond to identity based hate. HART makes Massachusetts safer for everyone.” 

Tanisha M. Sullivan, President, NAACP New England Area Conference and Boston: 

As hate in all its forms continues to rise, this moment calls for courageous leadership that is unyielding in its efforts to root it out “With an investment in the HART and our public schools, once again Massachusetts will serve as a beacon for the rest of the nation in our collective work to ensure that love not hate will prevail in our communities, and the next generation of young people will be equipped with the historical perspective and tools necessary to ensure the well being of our communities for the next generation.”

Josiane Martinez, CEO & Founder, ASG: 

“As Chair of the Latino Empowerment Council under the Healey-Driscoll Administration and an openly gay female CEO of one of the most diverse companies in Massachusetts, I stand unequivocally against all forms of hate—in all forms. I resoundingly commend Governor Healey and Lt. Governor Driscoll for creating the Hate Crimes Awareness and Response Team (HART). This new unit will support our communities with tools and resources in much needed ways to combat hate crimes while safeguarding our diverse and most vulnerable communities. This far-reaching initiative will not only work to prevent the biases and intolerance that we have seen grow but also support and protect the diversity that makes our communities so strong. I look forward to supporting HART in as many ways possible.” 

Yasmin Padamsee Forbes, Executive Director, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Asian American & Pacific Islanders Commission: 

"Amidst increasing harassment and surveillance concerns, it's vital to advocate for policies safeguarding the AAPI and all diverse communities, upholding our right to privacy, safety, and respect." 

Rabbi Marc Baker, President and CEO, Combined Jewish Philanthropies (CJP): 

"The surge in antisemitic incidents is causing fear and anxiety throughout Greater Boston’s Jewish community. CJP is grateful to Governor Healey, EOPSS, and law enforcement partners for responding to hate targeting our community and other impacted communities in Greater Boston with the seriousness it deserves. We look forward to working with partners to ensure that everyone in the Commonwealth feels safe, secure, and proud to be who they are and live as they choose.” 

Richard Burns, Interim Executive Director, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD): 

 “Addressing hate-motivated violence, including anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim incidents and violence targeting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people, concerns all of us. Today is Transgender Day of Remembrance, and transgender people, particularly transgender women of color, continue to face unacceptable harassment and violence, including here in Massachusetts. We appreciate the Healey/Driscoll administration’s focus on providing resources to strengthen community-led prevention efforts, and support work to foster positive school environments and more inclusive and resilient communities across the state.” 


Media Contact   for Healey-Driscoll Administration Launches New Statewide Initiatives to Combat and Prevent Hate Crimes

  • Governor Maura Healey and Lt. Governor Kim Driscoll 

    Governor Healey and Lieutenant Governor Driscoll are committed to bringing people together and making Massachusetts a place where every worker, business and family can succeed.
  • Executive Office of Public Safety and Security 

    EOPSS is responsible for the policy development and budgetary oversight of its secretariat agencies, independent programs, and several boards which aid in crime prevention, homeland security preparedness, and ensuring the safety of residents and visitors in the Commonwealth.
  • Executive Office of Education 

    From pre-school to post-secondary education, the Executive Office of Education works to connect all Massachusetts residents with an education that creates opportunities.

    While Massachusetts' students rank first in the nation on many educational measures, the Executive Office of Education strives to strengthen the foundations of education reform, empower schools and educators, and develop pathways to college and careers so all students in the Commonwealth can succeed, regardless of their zip code.
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